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business

    • May 18, 2022

    Why the Architect Opened a New Office in the Countryside

    Mistakes are not allowed, and so, we do things the same way as everyone else. This is a pattern of behavior that widely dominates Japanese society. You can see the behavioral patterns a lot especially in Japanese government offices. I can say that for sure from my experience of working as a public servant for more than 10 years. One mistake can shut the door on your career. Naturally, public servants are highly likely to make a low-risk option with precedent. There are exceptions to it, of course. One of the famous exceptions is the local government of our next town, Higashikawa town. It’s really a small town with a population of about 8000 only. Japan is facing a declining population, which is most obvious in rural areas. In addition, there are more disadvantages for the town. It has no rail line, national route, and water infrastructure in it. Nevertheless, […]

    • May 10, 2022

    Why Do You Think We Love Antiques?

    Do you like antiques or vintage stuff? To tell the truth, I don’t like motor journalists or car critics who excessively praise old cars. That’s because I think it’s a boring and too safe move, and believe professional critics should take a risk of evaluating new things without a solid reputation. Having said that, I like classic cars. I don’t know the clear definition of “classic cars,” but let’s say here they’re Japanese sports cars over 25 years. Now, their price is skyrocketing because of the 25-year rule of the US. The rule enables right-hand-drive cars produced more than 25 years ago to be registered in the US. Accordingly, more and more Japanese sports cars in my youth are going across the sea to the US. This is getting off the track, though. Have you considered why we like antiques or vintage stuff? Why are we happy to pay for […]

    • April 26, 2022

    Do You Know How to Deal with Customer Complaints?

    The center will buy your complaints Why is there no lamp in the freezer compartment of a fridge? Suitcase wheels should be replaceable! I believe you have this kind of small complaints a lot in your daily life. Most of them are too small to express, but they will corrode you inside little by little. In Japan, there’s a good service to recommend you. It’s a “complaint buying service center.” You can put complaints in writing and send them to the center. The AI rates the complaints in 50 points, and you can get Amazon gift cards according to the points. This is totally due to the technological advancement of AI, from character recognition to sentence recognition. If it were not for AI, the service couldn’t match financially. Positive small complaints grow suppliers If complaints are big enough, people would talk directly to commodity or service suppliers. On the other […]

    • April 19, 2022

    Eco-Friendly Can Be the True Trend of the New Rich?

    The rich-poor gap is seen even in trash In 2019, a book became a big hit. The author is an unpopular comedian working as a trash collector on the side. He wrote it was easy to find out wealthy residential areas once he sees trash. He went on “Wealthy residential areas can be divided into three classes based on their trash.” Let’s say the three classes: Silver, Gold, and Platinum. According to him, it’s not the contents of trash that make them greatly different from other areas. Of course, there’re some differences in trash contents, but what features the wealthy residential areas is the amount of trash. It is generally smaller. Furthermore, in case of the Platinum areas, it is much smaller even than that of the Gold and Silver areas. It’s completely different from what we generally imagine, isn’t it? This may be peculiar to Japan, but the public […]

    • April 12, 2022

    Do You Know How to Name Products?

    Once Google translation was funny… I remove two eyes. No worries. I still keep them. The first sentence is one of the popular funny translation by Google for “I remove the second one” in Japanese. Seriously, it’s not only funny but also really good translation. I never imagined that before, but the translation made me realize the Japanese sentence could be understood that way by intonation. To tell the truth, I like to check such funny translation by Google because I can confirm the superiority of my translation skills over Google. However, I may not be able to keep chuckling to myself soon. The AI of the Google translation improves day by day at a terrific speed, and has already corrected most of the funny mistakes unfortunately. Phonetic effects are important for product naming AI progress is not limited to translation skills. I learn that AI can now develop successful […]

    • April 8, 2022

    This Is a Must-Visit, Hokkaido Restaurant #4

    Do you know Japanese buckwheat noodles “Soba?” I think there are so many kinds of wheat-based foods across the world. What about buckwheat? In Japan, we call buckwheat noodles “Soba,” and it’s very popular. Ramen, Udon, and Soba are the three major Japanese noodles. The former two are made from wheat. The difference between the two is if alkaline brine solution is included or not when noodles are kneaded. Based on my understanding, many Japanese people see Soba noodles more elegant than Ramen and Udon noodles. Yes, that’s true. If you take someone to a Ramen or Udon restaurant for a first date, your date will doubt your nerves. If it’s a Soba restaurant, your date will think you have good taste on the contrary. It’s funny because buckwheat itself is an iconic crop for a poor area in Japan. We know that winter has come when eating Soba Another […]

    • April 5, 2022

    Do You Know Why Freight Is Skyrocketing Now?

    New normal in logistics I swim in a gym pool every weekend. What always irritates me is a notice on the shower-room wall. It says “We stop providing shampoo to avoid infection.” Anybody, tell me how shampoo sharing is causally related to infection. I think it’s a stealth cost-cutting move. Don’t you think the COVID is sometimes used as an excuse for cost cut or price increase like this? Having said that, I know the COVID has a huge effect on cost structure. The biggest factor would be logistics costs. Yesterday, one of our freight forwarders came to me to talk about an increase in freight rates. He apologetically told me “Freight rates become more than double from this month.” The forwarder seemed to be no match for shipping companies who are now at the height of their prosperity. The COVID, a good excuse for price increase Even if you’re […]

    • April 1, 2022

    It’s Unique: Japanese Company Entrance Ceremony

    Japanese-style job hunting All the schools start from April to next-year March in Japan. March is the season of graduation. As this may sound strange to people outside Japan, all the high school and university graduates join companies and start working in April, all at once. For one year before graduation, many companies throw recruiting sessions, and final-year university students spend most of their time in those sessions. I remember the days of my senior year. I didn’t see classmates much in the university campus. Even if I did, they just made me feel sad by their neat and tidy look for recruiting sessions. Anyway, job hunting and employment are huge for both new graduates and companies because the idea of lifetime employment remains strong in our minds. In April, almost all the companies hold their entrance ceremonies. Company entrance ceremonies are for awareness-raising I was such an idiot as […]

    • March 29, 2022

    This Is a Must-Visit, Hokkaido Restaurant #3

    Ramen and curry are national dishes for the Japanese people If you can only eat just one food, which would it be, ramen (noodle) or curry? I ‘m sure we all the Japanese people have asked and answered this stupid question at least once in our life. In other words, ramen and curry are the top two popular foods in Japan. As I looked up the number of restaurants, ramen is about 24000; curry about 4700, respectively. I think the difference in number well expresses the difference in character. Ramen is something to eat out; curry is one of home-cooked meals. In fact, when I was a kid, my mother made it at least two times a month. She always made a lot, and I had to eat it for three days in a row. I’m 100% sure this kind of ordeal still occurs in many Japanese homes. Have you […]

    • March 25, 2022

    What Is the Beginning of Life?

    Super-advanced mechanism of E. coli The upper limit of the F1 engine speed is 15000 rotations per minute (rpm). For your reference, when I commute, the average engine speed of my small economy car is about 1500 rpm. You can see how much I don’t want to go to work. Sorry, that’s not the point of this post. Do you know we have mechanical systems rotating faster than F1 engines in the body? It’s E. coli. They move in our intestines by rotating their flagella. The speed is about 20000 rpm! To my more surprise, the flagella even have a clutch mechanism to rotate reversely. Furthermore, the energy conversion efficiency is almost 100%. It’s only a hundred and some tens of years since we humans invented internal combustion engine systems including a clutch mechanism, while fungi have a long history of about a billion years. Do you still believe we […]